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What medical errors can happen during surgery?

On Behalf of | May 26, 2021 | Medical Malpractice

While many people associate medical procedures with a smooth recovery, some may notice odd symptoms after an operation.

Many of these are due to complications that occurred during the procedure itself but are not discovered until later on. This kind of malpractice is often the result of human error, mostly due to distracted or confused surgeons.

Confusing the operation site

According to the Patient Safety Network, some professionals may begin a surgical procedure on a limb only to discover that they operated on the wrong site. Not only can this be devasting for someone who got a limb removed, but it can also require more surgery to fix.

Operating on the wrong person

Similarly, surgeons could incorrectly begin a procedure on another person who did not need it before realizing their mistake. This instance of miscommunication between the staff can have severe health repercussions for the patient, depending on how serious the operation is.

Problems range from mistakenly operating on someone with a similar name to operating on someone scheduled for a different time or day.

Leaving items behind

After a complicated procedure, a doctor may accidentally leave behind a sponge or other small tool inside of the patient while completing the surgery. This error can lead to health complications in some cases, especially if the surgeon left the item near a sensitive area.

Whether this is due to rushing a procedure or merely forgetting about it during the process, it can still harm a patient. Sponge-counting techniques and other checklists may sometimes help medical professionals by reminding them, but they do not always prevent surgical errors.